Posts Tagged ‘basics’

6 ways to improve communication in an interview (English)

10 May 2017

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

  1. Use functional language, that is, say things such as “I don´t think so”, “yes, please”, “if so, let me know”
  2. Make sure of knowledge of basics: the time, the alphabet, formulaic language-say thanks, respond to thanks, introduce someone, spell words-, say numbers
  3. Be good at grammar, namely verbal tenses, conjugations, elements in a phrase, connectors, etcétera
  4. Learn, save and master plenty of vocabulary (words, expressions, verbs, adverbs, pronouns, varied adjectives, demonstratives)
  5. Be curious about idioms, false friends, acronyms, Latin abbreviations, mottoes, Slang expressions and Cockney
  6. Manage an acceptable standard pronunciation

Eugenio Fouz.- 100517



The After Exam Page (1.4) for Business English 1

16 December 2016

twitter: @eugenio_fouz



Business English 1



  1. Revise the names of countries: Germany (Alemania), France (Francia), Poland (Polonia), Denmark (Dinamarca), Spain (España) . People who live in those countries are called like these: the Germans (alemanes / los alemanes), the French (franceses / los franceses), the Polish (polacos), the Danish (daneses), the Spanish (españoles)
  2. Do not forget October when you write the months of the year. Remember that there are twelve months. November is written exactly like that: November. Do not confuse foreign languages such as French and English. [foreign.extranjero]
  3. Cardinal numbers are one, two, three, four, … fifteen (fiveteen is not a number. It doesn´t exist) . Ordinal numbers are first, second, third, fourth, fifth
  4. Study, learn, memorize abbreviations from the handouts or packs of papers: (arroba) , on delivery (pago contra-reembolso), soon as possible (tan pronto como sea posible)
  5. Be ready to learn words, verbs and expressions from the PDF linked on @moodle (Aula Virtual)
  6. Basics is a kind of exercise you will have to do perfectly well. Read and reread all the basics: pronouns, vocabulary lists of words and verbs, how to tell the time, numbers, etcetera
  7. You should be able to conjugate verbs in the present tense and the past tense in Spanish and English. Practise conjugations in your notebook. [should.debería] [be able.ser capaz]
  8. Example of conjugation:

I do not understand / you do not understand / he does not understand / we do not            understand / you do not understand / they do not understand (ellas no entienden)

  1. Write clear. Make your letters, words and expressions easy to read.
  2. Do not use extremely small letters in a paper exam, please! **

Be good & good luck!



Little points to consider in oral interviews

28 August 2014

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

 2013-11-20 12.45.30

First of all, when you are having a conversation you must be aware of your partner. Do not forget that your participation counts but your partner counts as well

Get used to listening.

When it´s your turn to speak try to be clear and concise. Do not make very long sentences. Long messages sometimes can be boring to others

Your intonation is important. Of course, nobody asks a question by doing an affirmative statement. Think where you put your stress in sentences.

Basics is a principal point in language. You need to make sure you use the precise words, that is to say, do not use “him” where you should use “her” or him. We are dealing basics when we deal with verbal tenses, personal pronouns of subject or object, cardinal numbers, demonstratives, possessive adjectives, adverbials, and so on.

In verbs as you should know there are three forms or elements in their presentation, namely, the infinitive, the past and the past participle. The pronunciation of the past form of an irregular verb is not usually the same as the pronunciation of the past participle form.

On the other hand, there are lots of useful expressions, linkers or even idioms which may help in a conversation. A good student, a good speaker must learn, know and use them (once more, let´s see, to sum up, unfortunalely, that is to say, the truth is that, actually, secondly, et cetera)

In English sometimes we use a future verbal tense with the meaning of a present. For example, we say “I´ll start by saying that…” meaning “empiezo diciendo que…” or “shall we open the door?” meaning “¿abrimos la puerta?”.

Phonetics and pronunciation are two pillars in the building of a good dialogue. If you pronounce well, you will always be clearly understood. Phonetics helps to pronunciation rules.

I wouldn´t like to forget probably the point number one in communication: words. Without words we speak nothing. Words, or rather, vocabulary is the most important thing in language. Learn new words and you will be able to communicate anything to anyone. Use a dictionary, take notes of new words, read texts (newspapers, readers), listen to podcasts, online radios, watch videos, talk to real English people.

When you make a sentence, remember that in English there is always an easy rule to follow which consists of subject, verb and complements in standard messages.

Therefore, if you mean “Entonces, sería …” you shouldn´ t forget the subject “it” as in “Then, it would be…”. On the other hand, when you have used a subject it is wrong to put it twice as in “ this song it is about…” and you should say “this song is about…”

Other points where one can make mistakes are confusing numbers as in “thirteen” (13) and “thirty” (30) or the ordinal numbers “twelfth” (duodécimo) ”, telling the time, men and women (the latest´s pronunciation is very peculiar).

Some speakers think that saying “and” many times will make the speech more fluent and that is wrong and boring. One has to take some other words as “however”, “nevertheless”, “but”, “on the one hand”. Try to avoid repetition which only means lack of vocabulary and style. Sometimes it will be better not to say anything and leaving a blank space in conversation, as if you were playing music. Whenever you use a verb take your time to consider if it wouldn´t be nicer to choose a more specific verb instead of the verb “to be” or “to have” [ “go”, “visit”, “walk”, “travel”]

There are lots of words that we don´t often check in the dictionary. We do not know their meaning. Sometimes we pronounce them wrong.

Never forget the idea that English grammar is not a cheese but “lots of cheese”. Be available to learn rules or new aspects of grammar. I have just remembered now the rule of the verbs of like and dislike which take the gerund after themselves: like/hate/love/prefer + Ving

She hates waiting for her brother every day after class

When you talk to someone, try to make short messages. Most of times you go further on you make a mistake, nevertheless the best way to learn is by making mistakes and talking.

If your partner asks a question starting with “do” as in “do you like eating hot dogs?” you will be expected to answer by using the same auxiliary verb, “yes, I do” / “No, I don´t” and then continue with your part of the conversation. If your partner starts with “have you ever driven a car?”, again you must give something like this “no, I haven´t”/ “yes, I have”.

Mistakes Michael Makes

17 December 2013

twitter: @eugenio_fouz


Michael gets very nervous whenever he takes an exam. Michael does not read questions slowly or twice. Michael forgets to number every exercise. This guy leaves sentences unfinished. Michael´s handwriting is not clear or nice.

Yes, Michael never highlights the circumstance of an incomplete activity by writing ON THE OTHER SHEET or SEE NEXT PAGE, for example. This student seems to be a stranger in a foreign country

Michael, man, you do not normally listen to the teacher´s instructions. Remember you did not pay attention to his stories or advice. You are one of those tippex freak users in exam sheets. You never tried to participate, understand or study for hours.

Michael, do you feel a rare feeling towards teachers? You do not know how to write the seven days of the week. Despite that, you look happy when you write Thuesday* instead of Thursday. You ignore the difference between cardinal and ordinal numbers. Oh, kid, you are unable to say 12th in your own language.

You still haven´t entered moodle in spite of the fact that your teacher keeps saying fantastic things about it.

Michael, Michael you write Wensday*, you write fiveteen*. Michael you forget the subject in sentences. You do not learn vocabulary by heart, you do not practise English language. You look like a dictionary hater, you blame teachers for everything. You arrive late and do not do the homework.

 *[Thursday / Wednesday / fifteen]

Barbara makes mistakes in basics

22 September 2013

twitter: @eugenio_fouz


 (the girl from the picture is not Barbara, just a cool schoolgirl to illustrate this post)

Some teachers sometimes like asking easy questions which have to do with basic parts of the vocabulary corpus or grammar. The reason for this kind of exercise is to reinforce a solid basis on the knowledge and use of English language.

Barbara usually makes the same mistakes.

Have a look at this:

Write cardinal numbers from 10 to 20

Ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen “fiveteen”* (instead of FIFTEEN) sixteen seventeen eighteennineteen twenty

Sometimes Barbara confuses cardinal numbers (one, two, three) with ordinal numbers (first, second, third, fourth, fifth)

Write all days of the week in order

Monday “Thuesday”* (instead of TUESDAY) “Wensday”* (instead of WEDNESDAY) “Thrusday”* (instead of THURSDAY) Friday Saturday and Sunday

Write months of the year

(Sometimes Barbara forgets one or two months, otherwise she pretends to have forgotten that month because she doesn´t know how to write the month correctly)

January February “Mars”* (instead of MARCH) April May “Jun”* (instead of JUNE) “Juillet”* (instead of JULY) August September October November December

The trouble sometimes is that Barbara mixes English language and French language.

Teach & test

19 December 2012

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

One girl, Penélope C., was asked to draw her classroom and two students writing sentences on the board. This is what he did. The guy on the left must be me ;-)

One girl, Penélope C., was asked to draw her classroom and two students writing sentences on the board. This is what he did. The guy on the left must be myself 😉

I have just tried a different type language test from a new different teaching style. My focus is mainly on meaning. I want my students to understand what they are doing.

Among other activities in the test, the students must complete English words from which they are provided one or two initial letters and their Spanish meaning. We work with blocks of words by means of packs of photocopies. My students have to study and learn words and their meanings by heart.

Some of my students wrote their opinions about the new tests on a sheet of paper days ago. They confessed that some questions were not easy to understand. Also they noticed their lack of vocabulary to understand all  exercises. We both (students and teacher) must work harder with words and dictionaries.

Another point was grammar. Most students said that there was little room for grammar. And they are right, maybe I should have included a few more grammatical exercises.

The exam was too long, that´s true. There were too many exercises to do and not enough time. . This is something to be reconsidered.

The exercise on English culture was the most unpopular activity among students because they could not admit that learning the Christian name of the Queen of England or the author of Ulysses were interesting issues. On the other hand, I have the impression that they loved an exercise where they were asked to draw things such as their own desk, our classroom or their favourite gadgets, for example. (And some kids were really good at doing this).

The new tests included an English original text to be translated into Spanish language as well as short sentences to be translated into English.

There was an episode in the test named Classroom diary after our daily routines in class. I think this is important. The students see the relevance of paying attention to teachers and taking active part in class life.  There were questions on “functional language” or useful phrases and a short essay on a current topic, e.g. “write a note to your friend that you are leaving later from school” or “ advantages of having a mobile phone”.

Two more points were a reading comprehension text with questions on form and meaning and a strict exercise titled Basics focused on elementary aspects of language such as writing ordinal numbers, telling the time, listing the past participle forms of verbs, quoting all the possessive adjectives, etcetera.

Something that I have not included in these new tests was a listening comprehension text, namely a listening recording or a short dictation. I think this must be included next time.

Note at the noticeboard, 17th October.-Reminder Bacc 1 & Bacc 2

17 October 2012

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

Coffee time at Summerhill school, UK

There are papers at the photocopier for those students who failed the subject of English language last year. (Inglés suspenso de Bacc 1)

Avoid speaking Spanish language in class.

Do not ask questions such as: “¿qué pone ahí?”, “no te entiendo”, “dime”, “¿cómo se dice?” (say “what is that? or “what is to be put here”*, “I don´t understand you”, “tell me”, “how do you say?” instead)

When your teacher is calling the register don´t answer like this: “oui”, sí”,”¿qué?”,”yo”, “aquí” (say “yes!”, “pardon?”, “me!”, “present!” instead)

Get a dictionary with you (it is incredibly useful)

Do you want to listen? / Does she want to listen?

I have a sister and she´s got a Ferrari / I have a sister who has a Ferrari*

Do not ask “¿sigo?”, “¿copiamos eso?”, “¿qué hay que hacer?”; ask “Shall I go on?or “can I finish?” “let me finish”*, “shall we copy that?”, “what do we have to do?”

Doing the exercises right is a positive thing, but it is much better to understand what you are saying or writing in English. In other words, grammar might be a bit difficult sometimes but doing nonsense can be really bad.

Remember basics: January, February, …… / one, two, three, four….. / me, you, him…. /my book, her boyfriend, …. / is it quarter to seven?*, it is five past ten … / Monday, Tuesday, …/ this book is Michael´s book , these are my books, …

Haven´t you seen Tom yet? (aún) / Have you seen Tom yet? (ya)

Functional language:

What is that? …………………….

How do you spell …? …………………………..

I have written/said* ……………………….

Can I speak Spanish, teacher? ………………………….

Can I clean the blackboard?…………………………………

May I come in? ……………………………………….

Has anyone got a dictionary, please? ……………………….

I am having a shower at the moment…………………..

I haven´t got it. Sorry! ………………………

*[corrections suggested by the blogger roughseasinthemed. Thanks for your help. EF]

Forrest Gump sitting on the bench and memorandum

19 July 2012

twitter: @eugenio_fouz


Teacher´s memo: ten activities in a foreign language class


Lots of reading (translations, reading aloud)

Lots of listenings [repeat phrases]

Words memorization

Short messages (pass Spanish messages into English)

Oral skills (check: Question and Answer)

Essay writing (opinions)

Basics (data: numbers, possessives, prepositions, pronouns, demonstratives, the time, conjugation of verbs, etcetera)

Mini tests

Checking notebooks

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